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Health-Conscious Series #13 - Why we must eat sardines

Updated on September 9, 2012

During weekends, we used to open a can of sardines here at the boarding house in order to pay homage to the most underrated item in the kitchen.

I don't have much belief in eating canned fish or sardines in oil or tomato sauce, because my private part (don't laugh) have an itching after I consumed it.

During hard times, when I was still in elementary until now, it became an unrecognized 'comfort food' for me, even the odds of rashes or itching on that part of my body will be apparent afterwards.

Even on board ship, it's really different among Filipinos and Europeans when it comes to the treatment about sardines.

I usually prepare it almost everyday as side-dish on small plates, just to balance the meals, since it is rich in Omega3 that is good for the heart.

Commercials on sardines production is so appealing, that I am tempted to include it in my dietary needs.

It's been proven that it is more healthier to eat sardines than fresh fishes.

This hub is about the authentic reasons why we should eat sardines.

Sardines in tomato sauce, drizzled with lemon juice (Photo by Travel Man)
Sardines in tomato sauce, drizzled with lemon juice (Photo by Travel Man)

Evidences why sardines is one of the most nutritious food in the whole world

It's a poor man's food no more.

Berating its importance in our diet don't have much room on this hub.

Please take note of the following facts:

  1. Sardines contain Omega 3 fatty acids that heighten good cholesterol and protect our hearts and its blood vessels. It prevents the occurrence of heart attack and stroke in our bodies.
  2. It contains a high level of Coenzyme Q10 that is an antioxidant that boosts energy in our body.
  3. The Calcium content of sardines makes our bones stronger. If one accompany it with exercise, eating sardines will prevent osteoporosis.
  4. Sardines have Vitamin D that is important in absorbing Calcium in our body.
  5. It has Vitamin B12 that is needed by our nerves, brain and spinal cord. Vitamin B12 helps to our body to have strong immune system and also helps in blood production.
  6. Sardines are one of the few dishes or food that contain phosphorus that is needed by our bones and teeth.
  7. Eating sardines doesn't fatten people who are into slimming spree or in a diet. It is rich in protein and Omega 3 that makes us more strength.
  8. It is low in bad mercury.Small fishes like sardines, anchovies, galunggong (grouper), catfish (hito) or milkfish (bangus) are low in mercury-content. We must limit eating lapu-lapu, sea bass, tuna sashimi and other big fishes that contain more mercury.

Tawilis Sardinella product  (Photo Credit:
Tawilis Sardinella product (Photo Credit:

Tawilis - the Philippines version of sardines

Although the term sardines is already popular in Europe way back the 15th century, the Philippines has its own local version of it.

Here comes tawilis!!!

It is the term for the freshwater sardines (Sardinella tawilis) or freshwater tawilis that is exclusivley found in the Philippines, especially in Taal Lake, province of Batangas.

It is very unique since it is the only member of the Clupeidae family, (or herring fish)that belongs to freshwater and it's endemic in my country.

Tawilis are small fish reaching up to 15 cm and weighing less than 30 g. It is believed that this specie evolved because it is already trapped due to the eruption of Taal volcano centuries ago.

Batangas tawilis (Photo Credit: dencioPT101)
Batangas tawilis (Photo Credit: dencioPT101)


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      20 months ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Dora Isaac Weithers : Howdy, Ms. D! I miss sailing the Carribean as a sailor. From there, I can always attest of the freshness of our 'catch'. My father taught me how to cook home-made sardines out of fresh water fish. Still, salt water fish, like herring is best suited for canned sardines in tomato sauce.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      20 months ago from The Caribbean

      Ireno, I just came across this article soon after someone told me that even vegetarians do well to add sardines to their diet (of course, they wouldn't be vegetarians anymore). However, that Vitamin B12 is allegedly missing in veggie diets and that lack is the cause of depression in old age (so I heard). Thank you so much. Be encouraged that your article is still useful after 4 years. Hope all is well with you.

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love eating sardines, it is my poor man's diet. I eat it with rice and soy sauce even now. Maybe I will add a bit of fried onions and sliced fresh tomatoes with it. Yumyum. I also like eating fried or boiled bangus or sinigang. Thank you for this hub. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @precy anza: Me, too! At first, I had mu doubts centered on the effects that sardines will affect me.

      I'm sure you know what will happen to a guy, like me, eating lots of sardines for a week. I have an adverse effect (itchy on my ---lol!) whenever I eat sardines with sauce.

      Now, I'll settle for sardines in oil, since it was also the advise of my father before. Although, I was stubborn to follow him since sardines in tomato sauce are more cheaper that those in their natural oil as part of the canned mixture.

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      Wow! I didn't know about sardines being healthier than fresh fish until now. Glad I read this. I love sardines, and there are times I would crave for it and so I'd go raid our cabinet for sardines thou there's already some cooked food ready. I love sardines sauteed with pechay leaves :) Voted up and shared!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Trish303: Thank you for the vote. The most underrated dish in the kitchen is now dubbed as super human's meal. And that is sardines.

    • Trish303 profile image


      6 years ago from Springfield, MO

      Voted up as useful. I love sardines. I tried them for the first time about 2 years ago for the first time and now I eat them in oil as is about 3 times a week. Thanks for the grate Hub on them :)

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @DDE: Me, too! My father used to make a home-cooked sardines when he was still alive. Even the bones of the fish can really be eaten.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Very true about sardine sit is one of my best meals

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Thelma Alberts: Thank you, Mam. I have a cousin, we usually call her aunt who also live in West Germany. She's working as a nurse there, like you. Whenever she go back for work, she usually brought a pack of sardines in tomato sauce. It is also her comfort food. :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      A can of sardines in tomato sauce is my comfort food away from home. I just open the can and eat the sardines with rice and soy sauce. Yummy! I did not know that it has a lot of health benefits. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @SommerDalton: Thanks for your positive response. It's a must to eat sardines, since it's a very nutritious food. To sum it up, it's a complete dish already.

    • SommerDalton profile image

      Sommer Dalton 

      6 years ago

      Voted up and useful! Never tried them but after reading this I'm going to! Great hub, detail and pictures!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @eHealer: Lol! Thanks! We have the same joke at home, whenever we buy and eat sardines almost everyday, usually in the morning. :)

    • eHealer profile image


      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hey Travel Man, I eat sardines pretty regularly, and you've given me the inspiration to keep doing so. Raised in a Swedish household, we ate a lot of fish. Our running joke was "who is going to grow gills first?" Great hub and great info. Voted up!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @rcrumple: Thank you, Sir. I remember my father cooking sardines in a slow-fire so that we can still eat its bones.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @starbright: Thanks for recognizing it's importance. Sardines will always be part of my diet from now on. :)

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Harsha Vardhana R: My answer will be Soya beans. I also featured it here on my Health-Conscious series. It's #2.

      I expound on the benefits of soya regarding its properties that can treat prostate and breast cancer.

      You can add more, if you will be happy to leave your post there.

      Thank you again friend.

      BTW, why are you not publishing your own hub? Can't wait to leave some comments on it, too. :)

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @carol7777: Thank you for also recognizing the importance of sardines in our dietary needs.

      Sorry for not linking it to the site. Actually, I'm afraid it will not be recognized as legit site for linkage on HubPages.

      It is a forum site by boxing afficionados here in the Philippines, but they included a topic on Batangas tawilis.

      You can search it like this, Ma'am Carol:

      Just type:

      Then, you can browse on the part where tawilis sardines topic is featured.

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

    • rcrumple profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      I remember developing a taste for these at one time in my life. Perhaps, it's time to try them again. Didn't know the health benefits as you've stated! Great Job!

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 

      6 years ago from Scandinavia

      Great information that everyone will benefit from. It's true this tasty and very healthy little fish is often overlooked in our meals. Thanks for sharing. Voted up as useful.

    • Harsha Vardhana R profile image

      Harsha Vardhana R 

      6 years ago from Bangalore

      What is the vegetarian equivalent?

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I tried to link but could not ..Problem or is it me?

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Hi: I am going to add the link to this hub to my sardine salad. I want people to know how healthful these little fish are. You have to develop a taste and many people won't even try.


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